In preparation for a 1949 lecture at the University of California, Los Angeles on “Advice for Students,” Charles made the following notes on inspiration, methodology, and career strategy:

"Make a list of books

Develop a curiosity

Look at things as though for the first time

Think of things in relation to each other

Always think of the next larger thing

Avoid the pat answer—the formula

Avoid the preconceived idea

Study well objects made past recent and ancient but never without the technological and social conditions responsible

Prepare yourself to search out the true need—physical, psychological

Prepare yourself to intelligently fill that need

The art is not something you apply to your work

The art is the way you do your work, a result of your attitude toward it

Design is a full time job

It is the way you look at politics, funny papers, listen to music, raise children

Art is not a thing in a vacuum—

No personal signature
Economy of material
Avoid the contrived
Apprentice system and why it is impractical for them

No office wants to add another prima donna to its staff

No office is looking for a great creative genius

No office—or at least very few—can train employees from scratch

There is always a need for anyone that can do a simple job thoroughly

There are things you can do to prepare yourself—to be desirable

orderly work habits
ability to bring any job to a conclusion
drawing feasibility
a presentation that reads well
willingness to do outside work and study on a problem . . .
Primitive spear is not the work of an individual nor is a good tool or utensil.

To be a good designer you must be a good engineer in every sense: curious, inquisitive.

I am interested in course because I have great faith in the engineer, but to those who are serious(avoid putting on art hat) Boulder Dam all’s great not due engineer

By the nature of his problems the engineer has high percentage of known factors relatively little left to intuition

(the chemical engineer asking if he should call in Sulphur)"

— Charles Eames